I’m getting more excited about spending time in the boat now that fishing season is here.

Honestly, I enjoy catching all fish from muskies to bluegills, but there is a reason that I listed muskies first — they are number one on my hit list. All the other types of fishing that I do is just a filler until the water warms up and the muskies get going. That season is coming but until then I’ll take whatever fish happens to come my way.

Last weekend I hit the water with a mixed bag of gear. I had some for walleye in case I got into a spot where I just had to try for them, and I also had some for bass for that same reason. I used to go bass fishing a lot, that is, until I landed my first musky. The rest as they say is history. I also had panfish gear in the boat because when it comes to eating fish, I enjoy walleyes but would trade them for a limit of nice crappies. Cooking a mess of crappies in my garage during the spring is a simple pleasure for me.

I’ll get back to my fishing. I eased around the lake and hit some likely spots but nothing seemed to be biting. Then I decided to swing down to a quiet part of the lake and let the boat slide into shallow water. I was about to cast a small crappie jig when I saw a very familiar and welcome sight … a musky. The 40-inch fish was cruising the shallows looking for the same thing I was … crappies. I watched the fish glide out of sight. Minutes later I saw a smaller musky. I was beaming and I knew then that if I didn’t catch a fish, I would still consider it a great day on the water.

When the giddiness of seeing my old friends wore off, it was time to get to business. I needed some volunteers for my fish fry and it took longer than I would have liked. In the shade of the shoreline trees and docks, I found what I was looking for. Crappies in bunches were clustered and waiting for me.

I only use bobbers when I need to. I prefer to see the fish first and then cast small artificial lures at them. When I finally found the crappies in the shallows, it was time to make some hay. I went up and down that shoreline long enough to catch my fish fry quota.

I didn’t see any more muskies that day but the two that I had were sure a treat. I would say the same thing if it had been opening day of the musky season. The biggest difference is that on opening day of musky season I probably won’t come home with a mess of crappies.